Hepatitis C virus causes an infection to the liver. Many people encounter the disease every year. There are many types of the hepatitis C virus; the most common type is type one hepatitis C virus. All the types of the virus are equally dangerous. The main difference between these types is that they respond to different treatments.
Often there are very mild or no warning signs of the disease. You might not even know that you have been infected by the hepatitis C virus. The virus is spread through blood and the exchange of bodily fluids. At an initial stage, the disease has very mild symptoms. These early symptoms start to appear after six to seven weeks of being exposed to the virus.
However, following are some of the warning signs that hepatitis C patients show.
- Loss of Appetite: Loss of appetite is a common symptom of hepatitis C. If you have a considerably poor appetite without any other apparent health reason, it could be a sign of hepatitis C.
- Jaundice: Jaundice is a health condition where the eyes and skin from the patient turn yellow along with dark-colored urination. This condition often develops in people infected with hepatitis C virus.
- Stomach Pain: Stomach pain is another warning sign you should look for, if it is accompanied with jaundice and loss of appetite, it could be a sign of hepatitis C.
- Nausea: Many people have the onset of nausea before they are aware that they have been infected with hepatitis C virus.
- Joint or muscle pain: If encountered with the hepatitis C virus, a patient may feel joint or muscle pain without any particular reason.
- Feeling Tired: Mild fatigue is a common warning sign of hepatitis C, many patients often complaint about fatigue before the awareness that they have been infected by the virus.
- Developing a Fever: Sometimes patients develop a mild fever when they encounter the hepatitis C virus.
- Abnormalities in Bowl Movements: Abnormalities in bowl movements are noted by many patients who develop hepatitis C, and this is an important warning sign of the disease.
Delayed Signs and Symptoms:
Some patients may develop the signs of hepatitis as early as two weeks after being exposed to the virus. In others it might take as long as several months or years before the symptoms start to appear. The symptoms of the hepatitis C virus are related with the extent of damage done to the liver of the patient and it can take years for the virus to cause damage to the liver. This is the reason why many people show delayed symptoms of the disease.
Tests and Diagnosis to Confirm Hepatitis C
As it is quite difficult to tell based on the symptoms, whether you have contracted the hepatitis C virus, the wise thing to do is get tested for it. A simple blood test can assess whether you may or may not have developed the condition.
After the initial confirmation of the disease from the blood test, your doctor may recommend to undergo a biopsy of your liver in order to make an assessment if you have chronic hepatitis C
Hepatitis is a serious disease that can lead to permanent scarring and damage of the liver. Liver cancer and cirrhosis are the most common complications of the disease. If you have any of the above-mentioned warning signs, and you suspect you might have encountered the disease, it’s important to get tested immediately. Treatment is easier if the disease is diagnosed early, and you can prevent any major damage to your liver.
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